This is one of our B2B (business-to-business) web pages. If you’re an owner looking for information about our architecture services and related topics, please visit our Start Here web page. If you’re a real estate agent, broker, lender or related trade, this page is for you!
We’ve used the term REALTOR® because it’s easier to squeeze into this template than “real estate agent”. We appreciate the difference and think you’ll find this page informative, regardless of the title you’ve chosen.
We think real estate agents and lenders have more to offer than most people realize – more than just search and transactional services. For example, here are six ways that we work with you to expand the services available to your clients:
1. Site Analysis
Site analysis determines the potential of a property. It’s the practice of reviewing the applicable zoning ordinance and other layers of governance to determine possible uses and physical limits like setbacks, lot coverage, impervious surfaces, easements and right of way. Although some of the limits are physical, they can’t be seen during a site visit; they have to be calculated and|or located.
All too often, buyers purchase a property with a vision for improvements only to realize after the transaction that they can’t realize their vision. Our experience has taught that a site analysis is imperative before any purchase so you know the true potential of the property. This empowers you to make better comparisons and more informed decisions when shopping multiple properties. It also gives you more leverage in negotiating the sale price of the property and terms of your agreement.
Our site analysis work is relatively inexpensive and you can include it as a condition in your purchase agreement. We can provide some sample language for the condition in your purchase agreement if you contact us to learn more about this service.
2. Building Evaluation
A building evaluation is our rent-an-architect solution for people who just need a quick consultation. The issues for which we’ve provided consultations range from an owner fighting a property tax increase to potential buyers who wanted a design consultation. When paired with a site analysis, a building evaluation can yield enough information to get a preliminary cost and schedule estimate from a contractor or builder.
Just to be clear, a building evaluation is not a home inspection. Home inspections are typically driven by the inspector’s broad checklist of items. Our focus is more specific – looking at one or more issues about which you’re concerned. Another key difference is that we work to provide solutions rather than just identifying problems. The fees for building evaluation can be hourly or fixed and the production time is typically short because the scope is limited.
We think appraisals will continue to be a significant challenge regardless of the conditions in our market. This will be driven, in part by our industry’s improved ability to document, publish and search through more information. In the short term, that means we have to be smarter about how we describe properties. This is especially evident with sustainable buildings.
In the long term, we have to address the potential issues that will result in our ability to more easily segregate properties – when we can search by energy efficiency, indoor air quality and other criteria, houses that don’t offer those features will be further diminished in value. That can create opportunity for investors though it may also have a disproportionately high impact on the value of certain homes.
We have a series of concerns and we’d appreciate the opportunity to work with you to figure out how we can improve the current system.
We’ve been frustrated with the lack of education about houses. We know houses are “our job” though some of the professionals we meet feel they know less about houses than their clients. That’s a difficult place for any professional – trying not to comment on what you’re buying and selling.
We’d like you to know more about process, technology, governance, building science and other related issues that empower you to offer some direction to your clients. You don’t have to offer so much advice that you begin to incur liability. We just want to give you an executive-level understanding of how all the parts and pieces fit together.
To do that, we craft custom discussions for our real estate agent and lender audiences. We also work with professionals who want to offer education to their clients and want something built around their offerings. We enjoy the interaction because we benefit from the dialog and our skill sets are complimentary so we’re not competing for work.
Maintenance is one of the education topics upon which we focus. Learning how to anticipate common issues helps you protect the value of your clients’ homes and gives you a better sense of what course of action to recommend – even if it’s getting them in touch with the appropriate professional from your network.
Maintenance issues are also a great way for real estate agents and lenders to keep in touch with clients. Rather than conducting a transaction and then waiting for the next opportunity, you can keep in touch by helping them remember recurring events. An email reminder to change the air filter(s) in the air conditioning unit(s) is a great example – it’s easy to do though we often forget.
It takes a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources to keep up with the continuous evolution of our industry. In addition to our state and professional association training obligations, we consume a significant amount of information through continuing education events, community service, fellowship and social media.
The benefit to this company and to our partners is our ability to forecast emerging issues so that we can be proactive rather than reactive. This gives us all a much better sense of how our time and resources are best spent.
How many times have you found yourself doing something that’s outside the skill set that you’d like to offer? If you feel like you should be billing for your time, you may be outside of your typical scope of work… and you’re probably losing money. We’re happy to help you make the best use of your time with a range of services that compliment your skill set and a network of professionals with whom we work.
Whether you’re working with us on a project or just need some help figuring out an issue on one of your projects, we’re happy to help with building science, building systems, code, space planning, structural, sustainable design and other issues you encounter.
If we don’t already know you, please take a moment to send us a note through our Contact page and use our social media links to get connected. You can also find more information on our Services page… where you may notice we don’t list interior design or decorating as services we provide. Thanks!